Episode 5

Sun 20 Aug 2006 17:41
Hi all, good ship Thisbe here again, lately at Nazaire, Portugal. Spent time
there catching up with maintenance jobs, and also adding some to the list. I
have decided to write up the boat tech stuff at the end so as not to bore
the non technical. We were rafted up alongside an English couple, Jo and
Mick. They are doing the 'get out of the ratrace and go wherever'. Heavy old
boat they been living and working on for a few years. Mick is a very
practical guy with every kit and kaboodle, self sufficient and able,
computers or nuts and bolts. Down below she looked like a second hand shop,
full of interesting bits and pieces all lashed and stowed in a very seaman
like manner. I imagine its slow going though, Thisbe is like a grehound in
comparison. Every night the harbour sees a race between the fishermen to get
their catch to auction first. They come charging in flat out which plays
havoc with the yachts all moored close together. We sustained some damage
the first night when we were caught unawares. See tech at end.
We walked the two to three kilometers into the town a few times to take in
the scene. Black draped old ladies sat on every corner and street with
'rooms to let' signs. I mean every street and corner of the old town.
Bizarre !
A modern and bit tacky seaside town fronted on to a very charming and quaint
old town. A great place once you leave strip. We were in contact with Sue by
phone, she was travelling all night to join us where we have been weather
bound. Landing in Faro on Thursday evening about 7.30. due at Nazaire 11.45
am Friday 19th. Major cleanup of the boat in progress, pretty smelly
despite trying to keep up with it.
Met Sue from bus dead on schedule, Portuguese transport certainly lived up
to its reputation. She was very tired but up for everything as usual.
Shopping, ugh!
Also some nice times though, sat at pavement tables watching the world.
Back to the ship late on with a plan top eat ashore but fatigue won through,
ate onboard and planned our departure.
Plan for next jump south to Sines (pronounced Sinch) involved a 20hr
overnight sail, 105 miles. Bit rough on Sue, having just arrived, but
necessary if we were to stand any chance of catching flights back from the
Canaries on the 28th. Alex is due back at work on the 1st Sept.
Final preparations, showers, formalities with the marina office, shopping at
Luis, farewells to Jo and Mick, our neighbours, tried to start up, another
tech problem which took me another half hour to fix. Fuelling dock and out
to sea.
Big swell on the way up to Cabo Carvoeiro, lovely afternoon though, and glad
we hadn't tried to go when the weather was against us. Sue feeling a bit
tired and queasy. Wind a bit fickle but ok. Fairly uneventful first half,
sleeping and lazing around but the wind piped up as it got darker. We
decided to drop the main as it is too much trouble with the wind from behind
blanketing the foresail. Also previous experience had made us cautious. Very
nice to have us all together. Settled into a bit of a routine as it got
dark. Romping along at 6 - 7 knots off Cabo Raso near Cascais in a high
wind. Our caution paid off. The lights of Cascais and Lisbon looked
fantastic from the sea, we could see cars racing along the front as we were
surfing down the waves. I called Sue up for a look, she didnt linger long
and hurried below to her warm bunk. Wish we had time to go ashore. After
what seemed a long and tiring run, Sines came up with the dawn. Shortened
version I'm afraid as very tired. Alongside at 9.30. Nice looking town, lots
of obvious history, forts etc. New dimensions opening up with the new crew
onboard, what a difference an extra pair of hands make. The catering has
taken a major leap forward and we are able to spend more time on boat
problems. Everything seems less of a problem with a full stomach. Big day
tomorrow. Jumping off for 6 days at sea to the Canaries. Forecast is good.
Shopping is done, and we will rest this evening and night. See you folks,
wish us luck please. M, S and A.

Tech problems. Damage to toerail on transom due to sideways wrench to
fairlead, tore off woodwork. Have glued back and will obtain longer screws
for deeper pepetration. Bit of a problem with Nics I am told.

Lost all our water, 150 liters, electric pump left on and pipe off
calorifier. Couldnt hear pump over the sound of the engine. Interesting one
this. The clips were done up very tight in January weather at home. All have
now become loose as the pipes get hot and soft !!

Couldnt start engine. Coolant dribbling along wire into the big main
harness plug to the engine electrics had coroded the connections till one
dropped off. Must have been like it for some time but the leak was not
visable behind the engine. Found the problem and resoldered the joint.
Cleaned and sprayed plug and socket, supported to prevent reoccurance. Cant
find the leak but only a cupful needed replacing.